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The Illustrator Hardcover – May 1, 1988


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Summit Books; First Edition edition (May 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067152724X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671527242
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,932,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Robison's precise command of language, his wickedly acute ear and mocking voice, mark him as a writer of talent. But his slim novel ultimately boils down to another tale of urban angst and emotional burnout. Ash, a middle-aged, emotionally deadened commercial artist, begins a weird, half sexual, half paternalistic relationship with 17-year-old Pauline, known throughout the book as "Q." She speaks in adolescent vernacular: "We're about to fuck, he goes, help me pick out clothes"; "I better tell you now I'm like in high school?" What really endears her to Ash is her naivete. He's forgotten how to feel. He quits his job, goes to Brazil on a doomed business venture, returns home, starts to paint againseriouslytakes up with his ex-wifean open marriage that failed, partly because she stabbed him in a fit of ragegoes to Vermont to paint . . . and so forth, a series of random, meaningless adventures, until the rather grim ending. Written as a sequence of intensely focused vignettes, this is a mean-spirited satire whose humor, too often, falls flat. As a relentlessly contemporary slice-of-life, however, it accurately reflects a name-brand obsessed, self-involved generation that refuses to grow up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What has happened to James Robison? We need him. This was one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful books of the 1980s. I hope he writes another book soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shellfishh on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I agree wholeheartedly with the previous review, in wanting to have more to read from Jim Robison. I had the good fortune to have Jim (as well as his amazing wife Mary Robison) for a creative writing professor in college and I have read "The Illustrator" over and over again over the years. The characters have never failed to speak to me.

To have only this and a single collection of short stories seems like such a waste.
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By Cart Is Empty on November 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I also had Jim for several creative writing classes throughout college, and found him to be an inspiring instructor as well as an excellent author. And apparently one day he evaporated. Send me an e-mail, man!

-Ken
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